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The Huana Coa Canopy Adventure

by Craig Zabransky on July 23, 2012

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I listened to a local bird, a cousin of the legendary quetzal, and heard it call “Coa… Coa” in the barren mountainous terrain outside of Mazatlan. Then just a few minutes later the guide strapped my safety harness and equipment to the steel cable and asked if I was ready to take the next zip-line across the dry season rain starved jungle canopy. My confidence soared after the initial cables, so by the eighth I was completely ready and excited. I said “Si.”

The eighth zip-line ended on a platform created high in a Huanacaxtle tree. The landing provided stunning views of a blue agave fields, the jungle canopy, and needed shade on the hot summer day. And on this particular tour (I’ve taken the zip-line tour more than once) I arrived first and left the platform last.  It is the only platform on the nine zip-line cables the guides used a “FILO” (first in last out) approach with the participants. It was for safety, but I didn’t mind this platform was my favorite.

waiting to take the first zip-line at Huana Coa. Photo: Matt Gibson

As I waited I realized I was in this tree where I first learned the story of how Huana Coa took its name. Plus, on this tour in just the last few minutes I witnessed it first hand. Huana was for the tree I was standing in and Coa for the bird I heard just a few moments earlier. This was a true Huana Coa Adventure.

Taking the Zip-line across the jungle canopy in summer. Photo: Raymond Walsh

Huana Coa offers more than Zipline

The nine cable canopy adventure is the main draw to visit Huana Coa, but it is not the only adventure activity available for visitors.  The tour outfitter also offers an ATV adventure to the small town of Noria and horseback riding.  Plus, regardless of which tour you chose, all can be (and are) coupled with the Los Osunas Blue Agave Distillery Tour and Tasting.

the alternative ATV tour in "green" season. Photo: Craig Zabransky

For many visitors Mazatlan offers beaches, sunsets, and the culture of Old Town. I agree. But for those seeking a taste of adventure, the option to visit Huana Coa is definitely one to consider. I’ve visited many times and I am sure to return again

Photo credit to Matt Gibson for”Waiting to take the Zip-line”, Raymond Walsh for  ” Taking the Zip-line” and Craig Zabransky “ATV” I also want to thank Huana Coa, the Mazatlan Toursim Board, and Ogilvy PR for inviting me. 


Craig travels around the world to write tales of travel aimed to encourage and inspire others to take and make adventure in their life. And after calling Mexico home for over a year, it secured a special place in his heart. He continues to return often and often considers it his second home. You can find more of his travels on his Stay Adventurous site and follow him on his Twitter: @stayadventurous..
Craig Zabransky
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  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com D.J. – The World of Deej

    I have only gone zip lining once…in Vegas of all places. Might need to give this another try:)

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ Craig Zabransky

      Wow, Vegas has everything these days, doesn’t it? Well, I’d definitely go again at Huana Coa. I’ve “zipped” a few times at a few places and can say, this was one of the best.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Marivic Brook

    This looks great. I’ve ziplined the rainforest in Costa Rica and it was absolutely exhilarating. I will have to do this one sometime.

  • http://twitter.com/genebernice genebernice

    We went ziplining last year in the Great Smokey Mountains, Which sounds a lot like your experinece here (harrowing ride up, rappelling down). But we didn’t get tequila at the end. Canopy Guide

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